Shadows in the Void
The Bilex System
The Bilex system is one of the largest systems yet discovered. It is also undeniably a system to be avoided at all costs. The entire system is filled with a slightly corrosive gas which obscures vision and makes sensors unreliable. For exactly this reason, among others, it is rumored that at least seven great treasures are hidden in the system.
The Bilex system has seven stars orbiting each other in a complex orbit that no one has yet to fully analyze. Each star has at least five planets. As the suns orbit each other they will occasionally steal planets or moons from each other. There is no map of the system since it would be incorrect quickly. There are also three Stygian gates in the system caught in orbit of planets or suns depending on the time. The gates also seem to exert gravitational influence on the other objects in the system, though the extent of the influence varies making predicting the system layout impossible.
The corrosive gas slowly eats away at a ships hull, but the larger danger is sensors, engines, seals and other more delicate parts. A ship caught in the Bilex system often stops working in mere hours, while after a few days the hull will rupture. There is a coating that can be applied to a ship which renders the gas inert and many charitable merchants in the system are willing to coat your ship for a small fee. The Bilex Judiciary Council’s ships also seem to emit a field that keeps the gas away from their ships.
The three Stygian Gates create a triangle shaped portal with one at each point of the triangle. This portal is a one way gateway from the Dismal Void or Underworld to the normal world. Any ships, objects, ghosts passing through are immediately thrust into the Bilex system at high velocity. Passing back between the Gates does nothing. Corrosive gas is constantly poring out of the portal, it seems the ectoplasm or whatever background material there is on the other side is converted into the gas. Due to the fact that the portal drops what was in the Dismal Void into the real world the system is crawling with ghosts from the underworld.
People of Bilex
The Bilex system is the most populated system in known space. It is also the most destitute and poverty stricken. The Bilex System is so overpopulated because it is so hard to leave the system since most ships stop working long before they can find and get to a Gate. Anyone who was rich or smart enough to get out does so. Only the oppressed and the oppressors are still there.
Triclave holds a significant presence in the system due to their twofold interest. Firstly, they believe that the system is proof of their theories about the history of the universe. The portal is an artifact of the Vul’Shin created as an attempt to return the universe as they knew it. Secondly, they abundance of manifest ghosts in the system allows them to exert substantially more power than they might otherwise be able to.
The Bilex Judiciary Council the the ‘official’ government in the Bilex system. Formed by a large CPG entourage that entered the system unexpectedly when it became clear they were unable to leave. As time has gone on the Council has evolved, it is even rumored to now contain a member of The Celestial Empire when they became trapped in the system. Despite being the ‘legitimate’ government in the system the BJC is corrupt almost to a man.
The Confederacy of Pirate Gangs (so named to mock CPG) is a loose alliance of pirates, bandits and other unsavory sorts. Individual crews often come to the system in search of rumored treasure or to perform slave raids. Most of them are wholly unprepared for the harshness of the system and it’s occupants and get absorbed into the crews of another. The Confederacy is rife with infighting, but the major captains keep out of each other’s way and will often work together to deal with another major power in the system.
The Bilex Order of the Contemplative is an order of monks that seeks enlightenment by speaking to the countless manifest ghosts that plague the system. They try to glean information about the meaning of life by speaking to those who have run the course of life. Despite their noble goals they are a force to be reckoned with. They have convinced many ghosts that once they discover the path to enlightenment they will be able to bring the ghosts back to life. Because of this it not a good idea to get in their way when they decide the wish to go somewhere or acquire something.